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The Splintered Soul

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Amersfoort, Holland, May 26th, 1943

 

Ciel kept his forehead against his knees through the whole train ride. It was only a little over an hour, but the car they were in was meant for livestock, not people. It heated up quickly and got stuffy and hard to breathe even faster. Many of the men pulled their shirts off to keep cool, waving their hands as fans on their faces.

 

At first, he got many jeers from the Jews - disgusted he had once considered himself one of them at this treatment. Perhaps they were just trying to pass the time, get their mind off the fate that waited at the end of this ride, and he provided a very obvious amusement, but as they realised he wouldn’t react, not even lift his head, they seemed to get bored and merely sat and waited impatiently.

 

Despite the stagnant air, Ciel didn’t undress at all; he stayed in his position until the train came to a screeching halt.  He sat there while the others filed off, only getting up once most of the Jews had stepped out. He was last out of the train, a small navy haired boy at the back of the line as they were marched through the railyard.

 

Ciel kept close to the fellow prisoners in front of him to keep a distance between himself and the Nazi guards behind them as the group was marched through the town. Obviously this was a common thing, as none of the residents were outside, already shut up in their houses away from the grim air that surrounded the captives. Occasionally the librarian would see a young child peeking through the curtains, waving when they caught Ciel’s eye, and he would give them a forced smile back before they were dragged away by their mothers and probably firmly scolded.

 

He turned his eyes to the ground after a while, feeling the constant, repeating beat of his feet against the cobblestone starting to wear out his heels - not that he said anything about it as some others did to each other, he was smarter than that. Besides, the march hadn’t been that long, had it? Maybe twenty minutes, so far. Perhaps? He wasn’t sure. He was stuck in the monotone of the situation, the quiet whispering in front of him, dull brick façades around him, footsteps meeting the ground, soldiers shoving any that didn’t keep up with the butt of their rifles. What use was time any more? It would only prove to further his suffering. It was probably for the best that his sense of it was slipping away.

 

Ciel managed to get to the middle of the group during their trek, keeping his arms pressed against his sides to make himself as small as possible.

 

Eventually their march ended up against steel bars that towered over their heads. Ciel could see all the olives and greys of German uniforms running around inside the barbed wire fences, a black clad officer occasionally entering his field of vision. A shout in their native language, and the gates opened slowly. With armed escorts, the prisoners marched in.

 

He couldn’t keep himself from wincing when a lung tearing scream pierced the air, pure anguish within the noise. The Jews who had been in ghettos for months didn’t even flinch.

 

Once the shout died away, ending with a strangled out plea, the sounds of work began to echo through the camp. Hammers clanged against various substances, pickaxes met hard ground with a metallic ring, prisoners toting wheelbarrows walked past the newcomers without a glance; Nazi guards keeping careful watch over all with no one seeming as distraught by the moans of pain that would reverberate through the camp often as Ciel was.

 

His reaction to each noise started from a sorrow within him and caused a physical reaction. He squeezed his eyes shut at the next scream of pain. Such an oppressive aura in the camp... As small as the librarian already was, it made him want to curl up just so there was less of him to look at; less of him to suffer.

 

One simple glance around as they were marched to a long stone building to get their striped uniforms told Ciel that every inmate here was terribly malnourished. Hell, most of them looked sick - or perhaps just deathly miserable. He felt an almighty throb in his chest that spread out and made him shudder. How could anyone treat another human being like this? How could the men that did live with themselves when they returned back to either the barracks or family they came from? How could they drift to sleep and not see these tortured faces in their mind’s eye? What could possibly be stopping them from taking their lives after creating such hellish misery?

 

Ciel looked around as soldiers came past to collect any valuables their new inmates may have. His eyes widened and his eyes drifted to the large ring on his thumb. It was his one last item connected to affection, last reminder there was good in the world. Ciel stared at it for a moment.

 

He quickly slipped it off his left thumb and stuck it in his mouth. His eyes widened as the soldier got closer - and, yes, he was having anyone who looked suspicious open their mouths as well. He’d taken a cock down his throat before…At least this one wouldn’t stay in there.

 

He tilted his chin up to lengthen his neck, it would be easier with a straighter throat. It took a couple tries, the man breathing deeply through his nose as he tried to master his gag reflex, but Ciel managed to swallow the chunky ring, ending with a gag and a belch. He looked down at the floor when a guard turned to him with a scrutinizing expression.

 

The other Nazi shook the rapidly filling bag when he got to Ciel but the librarian just shrugged. He was looked over with narrowed eyes, gaze pausing on his eye patch, but eventually continued down the line all the same.

 

Breathing out a sigh of relief once he was sure the soldier was far enough away to not hear it, Ciel tugged his clothes off. He chuckled softly, bitterly, to himself. Apparently sex had taught him plenty of useful things - don’t think about it when you get naked, just get going. He shook his head as he pulled the rough material on, making a face at the overlong trousers matched with a too tight shirt.

 

A look around told him the other inmates had just as ill-fitted outfits. Nearly every shirt had a yellow triangle beneath the serial number, a couple with brown. Ciel looked down at the shape on his shirt - a pink triangle larger than any of the other colours. His throat tightened, eyes locked on the symbol that emblazoned his grievous sin for all those around him to see. There was no hiding it from anyone, he was forced to reveal his prodigious mistake to any who were to lay eyes on him. How would his treatment differ from those of the other inmates because of this hated label?

 

Ciel tried to hold onto his pride, to keep his head held high and his spine rod straight, but his resolve is slowly crumbling. Even in the hellholes of the world he is being ostracised - not only by the guards but the inmates too.  

 

Alois, Alois, Alois. He tried to chant to himself, keep his purpose clear in his mind.  Yet if he is being treated like this even by those who are in the same sinking ship just for his sexuality, how is his little brother’s mental instability being handled by all those in the facility he is being kept in? There is little hope in Ciel’s mind for him being coddled, his breakdowns cared for as well as the librarian had; rather he is probably just as shut out as his elder brother is, forced to fend for himself even though he doesn’t know how.

 

As upset as he is at his own situation, he can only imagine how horrible it has to be for the boy who can’t even keep his faculties in line. Ciel’s resolution strengthened with the thought of the little boy’s anguish. He would find his brother. He would fucking murder everyone who mistreated him in their time apart, even if it meant destroying the entire concentration camp. No one was allowed to hurt Alois Spretto so long as Ciel had a say in it.

 

Fists clenched, he kept quiet as the guards began to usher them outside. He looked around at the other so-called undesirables hard at work. So many of them were nothing more than twigs, impossibly thin people with thinner limbs being forced to do labour that should have had many more, and healthier, people doing it. On a number of people, he could see large sores caused by disease - boils and rashes as abundant as the putrid stench of urine in the air. Both sight and scent made him gag. All this fueled a growing hatred. Who could treat other humans like this? As if they were nothing more than mange ridden mutts whose existence was only a nuisance - who did something like this? Who could dream up such a horror?

 

Ciel jerked around when he heard a cry of pain to see a man, black woolen coat wrapped tightly around his barreled chest with a flog raised above his head, face red with fury. Beneath him a woman was cowering on the ground, her nothing but bone arms covering her as best as they could.

 

Perhaps this new fire within him made him throw away all logical thought or maybe it was just human decency and respect for life; either way, he stepped out of the neat line of fresh inmates. “No!” he shouted as the whip came down with a sharp crack and the woman let out another scream. Ciel shook as he clenched his fists and took a determined step forward, anger written clearly over him. “Leave her alone!”

 

Suddenly the wind left him as a pain blossomed through his abdomen and the librarian dropped to his knees, coughing when bile rose in his mouth with an acidic burn in his throat. He did his best not to vomit with the blow as his stomach cramped,  lungs crying out when he couldn’t force air into them. He looked up, tears blurring his vision, to shoot an icy glare at the Nazi guard standing over him, not a hint of remorse in his expression. “You would do well not to overstep your boundaries so soon, schwein .” he spat.

 

“Dr-drop dead.” choked out Ciel, his journey back to his feet shaky but the fire behind his uncovered eye was no less dim because of this.

 

His head was yanked back painfully as the officer tugged his bangs out of the way, looking him up and down with a shrewd glare. Cold, piercing eyes linger on the damning triangle on his chest before they narrow in grim satisfaction. A few quick words are barked out in German. Ciel has a loose handle on the guttural language - not a whole enough understanding to translate every word of the quick exchange; but when he heard what he thought to be “I haven’t been with my wife in months,” his blood turns icy in his veins. He stood stock still for a moment, frozen by this dreadful cold, a macabre anticipation that flowed through him.

 

The other guards march off the group Ciel had come in with, yet the librarian stayed planted where he was, a hand still tangled tightly in his dark hair. It was with this grip that he was led back (or, more accurately, dragged) to the officer’s bunkhouse. The room he was taken to was fairly Spartan, with just a bed, desk, and darkly stained armoire to give it furnishing. When the door was closed and bolted, the man forced Ciel to his knees, calloused fingers brushing along his jaw. Shaking as his mind played out various scenarios, none of them remotely pleasant, Ciel closed his eyes.

 

Part of him wanted to pretend the touch belonged to Sebastian: a loving caress before coupling; let his imagination feign soft words of adoration breathed in his ear by a voice honeyed darkly with arousal yet laced with the warmth of affection. For as angry as he was at his betrayal, there is no denying even now Sebastian remained a synonym for safe in his mind. But Ciel can’t stand the thought of perverting one of the last havens of tenderness he has with such depravity. Instead his thoughts wander to the library: the various tomes he read during his ample free time, the books he brought back for Alois, the philosophical fiction he fell in love with.

 

As a rough thumb ran across his full lower lip, his mind brought up a poem instead to focus on as his mouth was forced open, a metallic ring of a zipper echoing through the mostly bare room.


Take this kiss upon the brow!

And, in parting from you now,

Thus much let me avow —

You are not wrong, who deem

That my days have been a dream;

 

The head of a cock pressed against his lips, Ciel obligingly took it in.

 

Yet if hope has flown away

In a night, or in a day,

In a vision, or in none,

Is it therefore the less gone ?  

 

His subconscious, aware he would be punished if he did not, made him lick across the tip, suckling on it as well as he would if he was with a man he cared for rather than was forced to be with.

 

All that we see or seem

Is but a dream within a dream.

 

Ciel bobbed his head along the length of the officer’s member - nothing to write home about, only five inches or so; still nothing to scoff at - but his movements were mostly made by the iron grip still holding his hair.

 

I stand amid the roar

Of a surf-tormented shore,

And I hold within my hand

Grains of the golden sand —

 

He gagged slightly when his lips were shoved against the man’s pelvis, cock curving down his throat. He swallowed down bile, focus returning to the words of Edgar Allen Poe.

 

How few! yet how they creep

Through my fingers to the deep,

While I weep — while I weep!

 

Tears pricked at the corners of his eyes as he tried not to choke when the man held his head still, nose brushing against curled pubic hairs as his throat was fucked roughly.

 

O God! Can I not grasp

Them with a tighter clasp?

O God! can I not save

One from the pitiless wave?

 

He scrabbled at the officer’s thighs when his lungs cried out for air, leaving red furrows through dense muscle. A particularly hard thrust in retaliation made him drop his hands to his sides.

 

Is all that we see or seem

 

The man pulled his cock from his mouth as it splurt out thick pearly ropes. He closed his eyes, feeling the fluid fall onto his cheeks and brow. When it stopped, he forced down a shuddering sob as the officer pulled his trousers back up. Ciel opened his eyes to stare blankly at the wall, cum dripping down his chin.

 

But a dream within a dream?

 


 

Ciel was dismissed from the room right after his unwanted facial, and he fled the scene with a speed faster than light.

 

He wanted to cry, curl up in some quiet corner and let sobs overtake him. He wiped his face clean with his sleeve. He wanted to claw at his cheeks until he stopped feeling phantom semen drying wretchedly on his alabaster skin. He wanted to vomit, not until the taste of that iniquitous Nazi was off his tongue, but until the metallic taste of blood coated his mouth instead. Most of all, he simply desired to die. To lay down and exist no more. He had no fire in his belly to keep him on his feet - it had been quenched by an orgasm forced upon him. He tried to picture Alois, tried to make his little brother’s suffering piece his resolve back together. He couldn’t. He couldn’t recall his purpose for suffering through all this graciously. All he could see was a black uniform engulfing his vision as an unwanted deplorable member was stuffed in his mouth.

 

Ciel tried to find a place to hide, between monotone brick buildings. Yet a guard grabbed him by the back of the collar. A smack stung his stained cheeks but he didn’t flinch. He tried to muster some snarky comment in return to the blow. Nothing came. With an uncharacteristic meekness, he allowed himself to be hauled to the kitchens. There, he helped prepare a thin soup and slice mouldy bread.

 

After evening roll call, inmates lined up and Ciel aided in serving the overwhelming number of prisoners. Some smiled and thanked him politely, obviously unaware of the sinful pink triangle on his chest. He attempted to return the pleasantries, to give them some friendly conversation to lighten their bleak day, but even a simple “You’re welcome” was often too difficult to utter, coming out as stammered syllables instead. He never met anyone’s eyes.

 

Half way through the passing of rations, a hand once again clamped down on the back of his shirt. He was dragged from the steaming and suffocatingly hot kitchen, brought to a table where a number of officers were having their own meal - a great deal better than what the prisoners were having for supper. The man he had defied in the courtyard sat him on the ground next to his own seat. Ciel looked up at him, taking in his neatly trimmed blond hair, blue eyes full of laughter as he exchanged jests in German with his fellow workers. Hitler’s ideal German indeed.

 

Ciel managed scowled when a chunk of meat was offered him. All it took was a light slap to his cheek to make him gingerly take the offered food, nibbling at it slowly. More was given to him in the same manner, and while he knew it was better and in higher portion than what any other captive was eating, he couldn’t help but detest it. A few slanderous guffaws of  “ Guter Hund,”  were thrown his way, and every time the blond would pat his head patronisingly with a nod.

 

The librarian took this all silently - for what else could he do? At least here he was being mockingly praised rather than outrightly detested. He knew a number of the officers eyed him with loathing because of the mark on his shirt that showed just who he was, but he was proving useful to a lonely man who had not Biblically known a woman for months and that kept him safe from the unnecessary cruelty that most other inmates experienced.

 

He felt no gratitude towards the man for this. Today may have been a blowjob, and tomorrow as well. But what about when he got bored of that? Ciel didn’t want to think about that. He focused instead on the meat he was being fed - he didn’t recognise the taste. Was it pork? Religion had kept him from eating that for so long, yet now he couldn’t think of why. It was such a good meat, but perhaps he thought so only because it was foreign to him.

 

When beer and brandy were broken out of their casks, Ciel was not offered any. Yet he was not allowed to leave either, as the tight grip on his shirt told him. Surprisingly enough, he was not used for some pleasure doll when the men got drunk. He just sat on the floor as laughter was exchanged, silently taking the pats on the head and scratches behind the ear.

 

He was sent to the barracks when the blond grew tired of his company for the night. There, he curled up in the corner, away from the sickly coughs and restlessly sleeping men. He shoved his fingers down his throat to retch. The ring clattered as hit the floor. With his saliva, still full of acidic bile, he rinsed the tenderly washed the sick from it. Perhaps the metal was a bit corroded, and maybe the jewel did not gleam as brightly, but the love and unbiased friendship it stood for was still as clear as ever. He spent the next hour weaving together loose threads from the nearest frayed blanket to fashion a cord. He slipped the ring on it then put the impromptu necklace on. He tucked it beneath his shirt then curled up away from his vomit.


His sleep that night was restless, wrecked with visions of what debauchery might be waiting for him in the coming days.